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APTMA slams govt for steep power bills
17
Aug '15
As the Pakistani textile industry continues to struggle against unfriendly business atmosphere, the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has criticized the Ministry of Water and Power for ignoring the ground realities and destroying the textile industry as the largest employer of 10 million workers in Pakistan, according to reports in the country's media.

In a statement, the APTMA spokesperson stated that the Ministry of Water and Power is following the policy of recovering power theft and line losses from the efficient consumers.

He said the ministry should avoid being sarcastic over the demand for zero rating regime for the textile industry, as the export-oriented industry enjoys zero rating regime everywhere in the world. The ministry should understand the export mechanism and be friendly to it in the larger national interest, he stated.

The APTMA spokesman stressed that the regional tariff for industry was 7 cents or Rs 7 per unit while in Pakistan the Ministry of Water and Power has increased it from 9 cents to 14 cents or Rs 14 per unit by enforcing Tariff Rationalization Surcharge and levies of Rs 3.74, which is actually the theft recovery surcharge from honest consumers and the industry. He said the textile industry had started cautioning the government that it would be unable to sell its products to the international buyers soon the government had imposed the Tariff Rationalization Surcharge.

He said that the export data for the July 2015 has justified the industry's concern, as the exports have declined by 20 per cent month-on-month basis, which means two million textile workers would be jobless soon. He pointed out that the power tariff for the industry is higher than the regional competitors and appealed to the Ministry for Water and Power that it should avoid giving an impression of a 'government versus industry' fight.

Instead, APTMA is highlighting its problems because it believes that this government is for the industry, he said. He said that the export-oriented textile industry cannot operate with such a Tariff Rationalisation Surcharge, as it cannot export the system inefficiencies of the power sector. He said the APTMA has been agitating for a special electricity tariff for the export-oriented textile industry operating on the independent feeders with zero line losses. “Only a regionally competitive electricity tariff could save the textile industry.

Besides the unjustified burdening of the industry with various surcharges in electricity bills, the member mills of APTMA were also perturbed over the enforcement of the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) and imposition of punitive taxation on the export-oriented textile industry, that has pushed up the cost of doing business. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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